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Hitting the Right Chords

Hitting the Right Chords

Michael Carnevale

Michael Carnevale

May 9, 2018

How music and tech are raising awareness about organ donation in a unique way.

"We wanted to utilize music to spread a life-changing message."

Music is no doubt one of the most universal forms of communication. That’s why Havas Lynx UK joined forces with the National Health Service to develop a campaign that lets people make their own music while helping raise awareness for organ donation. Account Director Julie Southam and Senior Creative Neha Banati weigh in on how music is so closely tied with the human body and the human experience.

 

How can music make a difference in the lives of people?

We all know how music impacts our lives on a personal level. Certain songs make us sad, happy, sleepy, angry, motivated—you name it. Music has an amazing power to make us feel something and ignite our memories. Music also has the power to unite us. When we listen to songs together, our feelings are amplified as we share a listening experience with others.

Tell us about this new campaign; how does music play a role in this project for the UK’s National Health Service?

Despite music being one of the most personal and penetrative means of communication we have as human beings, it is still often overlooked as a channel for delivering calls to action or advocacy-based messages. We wanted to utilize music to spread a life-changing message.

Speed Donating Singles is a new and super-exciting facet of our existing Speed Donating campaign—a campaign all about making some much needed noise about organ donation. (At the moment, 16 people die every day in Europe waiting for a life-saving organ.) When the campaign first started, we called on individuals and businesses to become #SuperDonors by donating whatever they could to spread the urgent message about the need for more organ donors. Speed Donating Singles is how the music industry responded. Led by Robin Richards from Dutch Uncles, bands and artists have generously donated various stems of music so the public can remix them and bring their own tracks to life.

The Speed Donating Singles campaign serves as a call to join the organ register, and it also reminds the audience of how the power of giving can save lives. The actual tracks that the public create and share act as a message to all who listen that we need to support this issue. The hope is that, the more music we make, the more people sign up for the organ donor register.

So, do these individual audio files represent parts of the body?

Just as a good song has various elements working together in harmony, so too does a healthy body. The different #SuperDonor bands have donated different parts of songs to correspond to the organs we can donate, such as the drums as a beating heart and the vocals as the lungs, creating a diverse body of music for everyone to interact with.

"Because the more noise we make, the more people realize the need for more donors and hopefully then sign up."

How does encouraging people to create their own songs help raise awareness about organ donation?

Because the more noise we make, the more people realize the need for more donors and hopefully then sign up. We’ve created something unique, fun and interactive, in a space where the public is usually being preached at or guilted into signing up. We’ve come at this in a totally different way, really celebrating the power of being a #SuperDonor and what it can mean. We aren’t asking people to share a sad message; we’re asking them to have fun crafting a track featuring amazing musical donations from phenomenal bands and share that. In sharing these masterpieces, they become #SuperDonors themselves, raising awareness about organ donation in a totally different way.    

Which artists have donated audio files, like drum beats, bass lines, guitar riffs, and synth lines, to this project? How did you rev up their excitement about the project?

This whole project would never have happened without the support of Robin. He’s done an absolutely amazing job of reaching out to the industry and getting everyone on board and excited. We are incredibly grateful for how much he’s put into this. There are so many talented artists involved in so many different ways that I couldn’t possibly list them all here. But, for example, Everything Everything created the Bass/Kidney riff and Public Service Broadcasting created the Horns/Pancreas sound. You can see the full list of artists on the Speed Donating Singles website.

Any unusual sounds that people can choose from?

None of them are run of the mill, that’s for sure. They’re unusual in the best sort of way—you want to hear them over and over because they’re not what you’d expect but also pleasant on the ear. The horns are one of my favorites—so uplifting and fun. We even have one contribution of spoken word from English actress Maxine Peake, that is one of our more unusual contributions but it provides a lovely contrast to some of our other samples.

Will more audio files be added soon?

Yes, we’ve already had a couple more amazing names added to the Download & Remix section of the site. Paul Smith from Maximo Park and Max Cooper have also become #SuperDonors. It’s been staggering that, as more talented, wonderful people hear about the campaign, more are happy to join the movement. We have also just received a sample from a professional bass player named Liz, who is also an organ donation recipient. I suspect it’s very likely that more files will be added in the future. Watch this musical space.

How can composing a remixed song lead to potentially saving lives?

In creating a song via Speed Donating Singles, you see firsthand how the power of giving can breathe new life. That’s what organ donation is all about. In realizing this, we hope contributors and users will sign up on the organ donation registers themselves, as well as share their tracks, to remind everyone else that they can too. The more we encourage people to get involved and to sign up, the more lives we can potentially save. The Speed Donating campaign has, to date, already potentially saved or improved the lives of over 95,000 people.

So, will Havas Lynx create a playlist of some of the best remixes? If so, when can we stream?

We definitely want to create an album of singles with the best of the best, as well as feature these on our SoundCloud page. We need everyone to get involved, get their mixing hats on, and share those masterpieces. Just imagine, you could have an album track without even picking up an instrument or having a great voice. Please do get involved, and remember to send us your track.

"We wanted to utilize music to spread a life-changing message."

Music is no doubt one of the most universal forms of communication. That’s why Havas Lynx UK joined forces with the National Health Service to develop a campaign that lets people make their own music while helping raise awareness for organ donation. Account Director Julie Southam and Senior Creative Neha Banati weigh in on how music is so closely tied with the human body and the human experience.

 

How can music make a difference in the lives of people?

We all know how music impacts our lives on a personal level. Certain songs make us sad, happy, sleepy, angry, motivated—you name it. Music has an amazing power to make us feel something and ignite our memories. Music also has the power to unite us. When we listen to songs together, our feelings are amplified as we share a listening experience with others.

Tell us about this new campaign; how does music play a role in this project for the UK’s National Health Service?

Despite music being one of the most personal and penetrative means of communication we have as human beings, it is still often overlooked as a channel for delivering calls to action or advocacy-based messages. We wanted to utilize music to spread a life-changing message.

Speed Donating Singles is a new and super-exciting facet of our existing Speed Donating campaign—a campaign all about making some much needed noise about organ donation. (At the moment, 16 people die every day in Europe waiting for a life-saving organ.) When the campaign first started, we called on individuals and businesses to become #SuperDonors by donating whatever they could to spread the urgent message about the need for more organ donors. Speed Donating Singles is how the music industry responded. Led by Robin Richards from Dutch Uncles, bands and artists have generously donated various stems of music so the public can remix them and bring their own tracks to life.

The Speed Donating Singles campaign serves as a call to join the organ register, and it also reminds the audience of how the power of giving can save lives. The actual tracks that the public create and share act as a message to all who listen that we need to support this issue. The hope is that, the more music we make, the more people sign up for the organ donor register.

So, do these individual audio files represent parts of the body?

Just as a good song has various elements working together in harmony, so too does a healthy body. The different #SuperDonor bands have donated different parts of songs to correspond to the organs we can donate, such as the drums as a beating heart and the vocals as the lungs, creating a diverse body of music for everyone to interact with.

"Because the more noise we make, the more people realize the need for more donors and hopefully then sign up."

How does encouraging people to create their own songs help raise awareness about organ donation?

Because the more noise we make, the more people realize the need for more donors and hopefully then sign up. We’ve created something unique, fun and interactive, in a space where the public is usually being preached at or guilted into signing up. We’ve come at this in a totally different way, really celebrating the power of being a #SuperDonor and what it can mean. We aren’t asking people to share a sad message; we’re asking them to have fun crafting a track featuring amazing musical donations from phenomenal bands and share that. In sharing these masterpieces, they become #SuperDonors themselves, raising awareness about organ donation in a totally different way.    

Which artists have donated audio files, like drum beats, bass lines, guitar riffs, and synth lines, to this project? How did you rev up their excitement about the project?

This whole project would never have happened without the support of Robin. He’s done an absolutely amazing job of reaching out to the industry and getting everyone on board and excited. We are incredibly grateful for how much he’s put into this. There are so many talented artists involved in so many different ways that I couldn’t possibly list them all here. But, for example, Everything Everything created the Bass/Kidney riff and Public Service Broadcasting created the Horns/Pancreas sound. You can see the full list of artists on the Speed Donating Singles website.

Any unusual sounds that people can choose from?

None of them are run of the mill, that’s for sure. They’re unusual in the best sort of way—you want to hear them over and over because they’re not what you’d expect but also pleasant on the ear. The horns are one of my favorites—so uplifting and fun. We even have one contribution of spoken word from English actress Maxine Peake, that is one of our more unusual contributions but it provides a lovely contrast to some of our other samples.

Will more audio files be added soon?

Yes, we’ve already had a couple more amazing names added to the Download & Remix section of the site. Paul Smith from Maximo Park and Max Cooper have also become #SuperDonors. It’s been staggering that, as more talented, wonderful people hear about the campaign, more are happy to join the movement. We have also just received a sample from a professional bass player named Liz, who is also an organ donation recipient. I suspect it’s very likely that more files will be added in the future. Watch this musical space.

How can composing a remixed song lead to potentially saving lives?

In creating a song via Speed Donating Singles, you see firsthand how the power of giving can breathe new life. That’s what organ donation is all about. In realizing this, we hope contributors and users will sign up on the organ donation registers themselves, as well as share their tracks, to remind everyone else that they can too. The more we encourage people to get involved and to sign up, the more lives we can potentially save. The Speed Donating campaign has, to date, already potentially saved or improved the lives of over 95,000 people.

So, will Havas Lynx create a playlist of some of the best remixes? If so, when can we stream?

We definitely want to create an album of singles with the best of the best, as well as feature these on our SoundCloud page. We need everyone to get involved, get their mixing hats on, and share those masterpieces. Just imagine, you could have an album track without even picking up an instrument or having a great voice. Please do get involved, and remember to send us your track.

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